Hashtag Trending – Crazy perks from Amazon HQ2 bids, free Apple coding lessons, eBay shopping on smart speakers

The bids for Amazon’s second headquarters may be going too far, Apple is offering free coding sessions at all of its stores, and you can now shop on eBay with your smart speaker.


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First up from LinkedIn: have the 238 bids for Amazon’s second headquarters gone too far? Details of what some cities are offering the company are starting to surface, and the perks are extreme, to say the least. Chicago, for example, would let Amazon pocket more than $1.3 billion dollars in income taxes paid by its own workers, while New Jersey is offering the tech giant $7 billion to settle in Newark. Boston would create an Amazon Task Force comprised of city employees to make sure the company’s interests are protected by the city, and Fresno would create a special fund for 85 per cent of all Amazon-generated taxes and fees that they could spend however they like. Most Canadian cities explicitly stated that there would be no tax breaks for Amazon, but we’re waiting for more details on some of the other incentives being offered.

Trending on Reddit today is news that for the fifth year in a row, Apple will be celebrating Computer Science Education Week next week with its Hour of Code sessions, which will be free hour-long workshops at all of its stores around the globe from December 4th to 10th. Registrations opened today, with the company offering everything from beginner lessons to more advanced curriculums that teach Swift, Apple’s programming language. There will also be special teacher resources available as well to help educators grow the STEM field.

And lastly from Google Trends, you can now use your Google Assistant smart speaker to shop on eBay. The updated version of eBay’s Google app allows you to start a conversation about an item you’re interested in buying on the smart speaker, then continue the shopping experience on your Android or Apple smartphone. All users need to do is say “Hey Google, ask eBay to find me a new frying pan” or whatever product you’re interested in.

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Mandy Kovacs
Mandy Kovacshttp://www.itwc.ca
Mandy is a lineup editor at CTV News. A former staffer at IT World Canada, she's now contributing as a part-time podcast host on Hashtag Trending. She is a Carleton University journalism graduate with extensive experience in the B2B market. When not writing about tech, you can find her active on Twitter following political news and sports, and preparing for her future as a cat lady.

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